Rummanah Aasi
Stories usually end with a marriage and a presumably a happily ever after. What happens when that happily ever after seems to be falling apart at its seams? What lengths are you willing to go in order to salvage it? These are the questions that are posed in Rainbow Rowell's adult book titled Landline.

Description: Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble;it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now. Maybe that was always beside the point.
  Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn't expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her. When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.
  That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts. Is that what she’s supposed to do? Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?


Review: Landline is an examination of a marriage on the verge of falling apart. Georgie McCool seems to have it all: two wonderful daughters, a loving husband, and a career as a TV writer which she loves.  The career opportunity of a lifetime has appeared, but now her marriage may be ending as a result. Fed up with her work excuses, her husband, Neal, heads to Nebraska for a family Christmas with their kids--without her. 
  The set-up for Landline is very similar to another contemporary novels that center around midlife struggles and marriages falling apart; however, Landline takes a magical realism turn when Georgie finds a way to talk to Neal of the past, before they got engaged through a landline phone. As the days leading up to Christmas tick by, Georgie goes back and forth between talking to the old Neal she fell in love with and avoiding her rapidly crumbling current life, she starts to realize that she might be able to undo the complications of the present and has to decide whether she wants to. 
  Like all of Rowell books that I've read, I loved the characters in this book. Georgie and Neal are extremely likable characters. I also loved watching how Georgie and Neal met and fell in love. The story moves quickly with smooth transitions between the past and the present. I wished we got a reason why the magical landline exists, but it is never mentioned. I also wanted to find out the thoughts and reflections of the present Neal who is always conveniently not picking up his cell phone anytime Georgie calls. 
  Compared to my previous Rainbow Rowell reads, Attachments and Eleanor and Park, I didn't like this one as much. It felt unfinished and a bit too simple without the complexity of adult love, despite the mysterious magical phone. Nonetheless, I'm always excited to see what Rowell comes up with next. 

Rating: 3.5 stars

Words of Caution: There is some strong language and allusion to sex. Recommended for mature teens and adults.

If you like this book try: One Plus One by Jojo Moyes, The Opposite of Maybe by Maddie Dawson, The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan
5 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    I'm definitely curious about this one Rummanah, but I know I'm going to want a reason or explanation for the magical phone, and it's going to frustrate me that we don't get answers as to its existence. Still, I'll get over that eventually, and I do want to know who things work out for Georgie and Neal!


  2. I had many of the same feelings as you did on this one. I liked it, but wasn't over the moon over it like Attachments and Fangirl. The ending was lacking and I wanted to know more about Neal and the phone, I was kind of let down by this one.


  3. Aylee Says:

    I do love some magical realism, though I think I would be disappointed not to get something of an explanation for that magic landline too. Other than that, I do SO enjoy Rainbow's characters as well and so I am definitely looking forward to reading this one some time.


  4. I still haven't given any of Rowell's adult books a try so I don't think I'll start with this one even if sounds pretty solid. I know the existence of a magical phone without an explanation would bug me too.


  5. I think this rated about a 3.5 with me too. Like you, I loved the characters. But what annoyed me more was how depressing it felt much of the time. It reminded me of why I usually prefer YA.


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